Experience Purdue Agriculture: Eli Hugghis

Hi my name is Eli Hugghis and I am majoring in Botany in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. (static sound) Throughout my high school I lived in pretty much 2 areas in Maryland. A mainly in Prince George’s county. And so I went to a high school called Oxon Hill High School and it was a science and technology program. And so in that program I was a mainly concentrating in Biology and so with that I always had like a little interest in plants and stuff like that. And um actually Purdue I had never honestly heard of it because I’m from the East Coast so we don’t hear a lot about Midwest schools unless you’re talking about the Big 10 football all the time and at the time Purdue’s football was kinda shaky a little bit, but a regardless a someone actually recommended Purdue to me and I had never heard, I thought they were talking about like the the chicken company and I was like that really makes no sense, but once I did some research and found out that it was probably one of the best a agriculture schools here in the Country and one of the, a really good Botany programs as well. So I was like I have to go here. We advertise that we have over like 900 a something student organizations here on campus and it’s so easy to find something that will a come to your liking. So like I am involved in the Botany Club, a in Chi Alpha which is a Christian Fellowship group, and also a MANRRS which is minorities in agriculture and natural resources and related sciences. And I’m actually the Treasurer of MANRRS. And I know just by joining these clubs it has helped me to make some of the best friends that I have right now actually. 1 of the amazing things a especially me I have the opportunity to work with Dr. Gebisa Ejeta. And he’s actually a won the a World Food Prize. Which is equivalent to like the Nobel Peace Prize for agriculture. A I think back in 2009 where he won it for his work a with sorghum. Where he was a investigating a varieties of sorghum to be resistant to this weed called Striga. And that weed of Striga is actually a was devastating a crop yields in a various parts of Africa, in Sudan, and Ethiopia. A where people already had limited resources to grow food. So the fact that he came about and actually a built a hybrid that was able to withstand a some of the Striga. Like totally saved like countless lives and I had the opportunity a this semester and last semester a to work with him And that’s totally amazing. Like you would think that someone of like a like a World Food Prize like a a winner would be so like high and mighty about himself but he’s totally humble and like such a a chill individual and even when I come and talk to him he’s always like “hey Eli how are you doing” and like we talk about a our research and everything like that. And this is an amazing opportunity and I think one of the best things about the college of Agriculture is really the accessibility that you have to different profesors and like if you wanna go for the top person in your field just go ahead and go to it. You don’t have like a go underneath like anyone to try and get up to someone. You can just go directly to the person you want to work with and that’s basically what happened with me working with Dr. Gebisa. So it was an amazing opportunity. Don’t be afraid to make risks, take risks, to take chances because um you really can’t succeed in life without taking risks and taking chances. And a me coming from Maryland to Purdue was a big risk for me. Because I didn’t really have anyone here to just sort of like back me up. And I took the risk and it’s been super succesful for me. A just even taking the chance to go out of state and come here to Purdue has been an amazing opportunity where a I wouldn’t have been able to have these opportunities if I didn’t come here. And it’s also a the fact that I’m out of state has really changed my a perception on a lot of things because its allowed me to see something a totally different from where I was. And also if you’re, even if you’re in state a coming to Purdue will also change your a views. Just going to like a college or university because it’s so many different people in a diverse environment. Where you have so many people who think different ways than you and also a just look different than you, act different than you and everything like that. And it allows you to really a learn how to incorporate yourself in a diverse a environment. Most definately I made the right choice.


  1. I see you Eli Hugghis!  You make my proud and shout out to MANRRS-Purdue!  Go Plant Science and College of Agriculture!

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